A close finish in the 2015 New Brighton city council race

Val Johnson
Val Johnson
Mary Burg
Mary Burg
Paul Jacobsen
Paul Jacobsen

In what can be described as a heated New Brighton City Council race, two incumbents held onto their seats, while a newcomer was elected mayor Nov. 3.

For the first time in six years, New Brighton has a new mayor. First time candidate Val Johnson narrowly won the mayoral seat with 39.36 percent of the vote, for a total of 1,143 votes.

Johnson ran against incumbent Mayor Dave Jacobsen, beating him by 58 votes, or 2 percent.

Current council member Gina Bauman was also in the mayor's race and received just more than 23 percent of the vote.

"I have a great passion for New Brighton and love of New Brighton," Johnson said the morning after the election. "I think that we needed some new leadership and I took it as my duty to step to the plate."

While Johnson will work under a budget that will have already been set her first year, she said this gives her an opportunity to work with the council and commissions to take a hard look at the budget and identify what they feel has been missing from it.

"It's not my intention to raise taxes," Johnson said, while mentioning that certain city services had been cut out of the budget.

New Brighton has the second lowest tax rate per capita of any of the surrounding communities, Johnson said, which she said says a lot about the due diligence of the current council.

Johnson said she thanks the citizens for their confidence in her.

"My job is now to prove them right and to do the job that's best for New Brighton," she said.

Reached the morning after the election, Jacobsen declined to comment, but did say he would be writing a personal letter to the community.

City council

Incumbents Mary Burg and Paul Jacobsen fought successfully to hold onto their seats against Susan Erickson and Richard “Rick” Moses.

Burg received the most council member votes with nearly 36 percent of the vote, winning her fourth council term.

"I wanted to be on city council when I was employed here because I love our community. I’m not done loving my community. I’m still interested in serving," Burg said the morning after the election, adding that she was humbled and honored by her reelection.

Burg said the community supports the council having a strong commercial development plan, which can help keep homeowners' property taxes in check.

With her reelection, Burg said she will continue to create an environment that grows development. Burg pointed out two worldwide headquarters are based in New Brighton.

"That didn't happen by accident. That happened because our city has the directive to do this. Our staff has the directive to do this," Burg said.

Burg said parks have suffered in the past. She said "nothing can go down the tubes," and growing the economy can help prevent this.

Paul Jacobsen held onto his seat with nearly 33 percent of the votes cast.

Moses earned nearly 15 percent of the vote, while Erickson received almost 17 percent.

Hannah Burlingame can be reached at staffwriter@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7824.


New Brighton Nov. 3 election results via the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

There were 13,336 registered voters as of 7 a.m. on election day.

Mayoral
Candidate       Total votes  Percentage    
Gina Bauman 674 23.21%
Dave Jacobsen 1085 37.36%
Val Johnson 1143 39.36%
Write-in 2 0.07%

 

Council member
Candidate       Total votes  Percentage    
Richard "Rick" Moses 779 14.95%
Paul Jacobsen 1698 32.60%
Mary Burg 1854 35.59%
Susan Erickson 871 16.72%
Write-in 7 0.13%

 

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